Olympia, WA (11-4-19) — TESC has seldom been a venue where 1st Amendment values prevail of late. After the Brett Weinstein debacle, its reputation as a Washington State sponsored College of Political Indoctrination became notorious. Today, its total number of applications for admission to its Freshman class has collapsed, numbering under 300. Few are rejected given parents are loathe to pay for an inferior education at a once overrated liberal arts college turned political indoctrination camp. The school now depends on foreign student admissions to bulk up its budget in the face of increasing legislative ennui toward funding it. It has been suggested it could be put to better use as a homeless shelter.
Tripod and video gear in hand, arrival at TESC’s Purce lecture hall (adjacent to Red Square) began in the finest Gonzo journalism tradition. It’s a large venue, but a coed guided us to the right room. As the tripod came into view, questions and alarm began to rain down like hailstones. Thinly veiled threats and intimidation began to surface based on fictitious flimsy pretexts such as claims Debbie Bookchin’s copyrights extinguished 1st Amendment rights to record/document a public event at a public State college campus. The ignorance became so thick, it impaired reason and movement. Guilt tripping and accusatory verbal abuse by even more ignorant onlookers immediately followed.
Debbie Bookin threatened to refuse to go forward with her presentation at all after members of the Black Cottonwood Collective (an anarchist oriented TESC student group) failed to persuade this journalist he was violating the law. Clearly, this had to be their 1st rodeo. After some further consternation and tense negotiating while the audience was being told the presentation was delayed due to ‘technical difficulties’ the show went on. The 2 BCC spokespersons (a man and a young woman) agreed to provide their contact info (2 e-mail addresses that bounced) in return for this journalist’s contact info and Debbie answering a couple of his questions post presentation. She graciously cooperated that much as can be heard toward the end of the audio link covering what was more an exercise in polemics and political indoctrination than insight into the daily lives of the Kurds. Much of it was firmly wrapped in militant feminist rhetoric brimming with the old trope of men being patriarchal pigs and oppressors of women. Most of the Kurdish graves pictured in the presentation appeared to be men’s (Peshmerga).
Admittedly, the differences between American and Kurdish culture may be substantial–but still!
There were a few full frames of Kurdish faces in Debbie’s presentation, but very few. Most were of soil conditions, buildings, distant group shots, plants, and primitive schoolrooms. Perhaps more riveting was a photo of live grenades lining the shelves of a Kurdish family’s home. The Kurds exist in a no-man’s land where nobody, not even women journalists, is safe. Everyone, including the women must, of necessity, have lethal weapons (military grade) close at hand. Debbie often referred to ISIS sleeper cells the Kurds were intensely seeking in their midst. If the Kurds have no friends, ISIS members have less!
Despite promises of delivery of a copy of the presentation video sans the Kurdish faces, it’s unlikely to be kept. At this point, the credibility of the principals, along with their agenda, must be questioned. Debbie has obliterated her FB page from view (at least to this reporter) and her sponsors appear to disingenuously engage in bargaining and sophomoric posturing regarding who can freely exercise 1st Amendment prerogatives.
Due to ‘technical difficulties’ (I should have pushed the RECORD button twice), the audio link promised earlier won’t be happening. It was a pretty dry slog lasting over two hours anyway, and not many readers have an attention span that long. Debbie’s presentation was weak as it was very light on faces, something most readers are drawn to, and because it spent most of its 2-hours on contorted political theory proselytizing the deconstruction of the social order, demonizing patriarchy, and asking the audience to CALL their Congress critters–claiming they liked getting phone calls better than mail–like you’re actually going to get the Congress rep to pickup the phone. 🙂
Post polemics, Debbie was asked what her relationship to the Kurds was, if she was a Kurd, was born in the region, had family there, or was she a U.S. National. She admitted none of the above were true but for the fact she was an American. She’s published a book which is an amalgam of the Kurdish crisis conjoined with one political faction of Kurds which Debbie admitted an affinity for because their political ideology (deconstruction of the social order, a “3rd way”, i.e. neither capitalism nor communism/socialism. and an overwhelming dose of anti-patriarchy rhetoric without even a flimsy theory of government) aligned with hers. One suspects her book and speaking tour addressing a sequence of radical political venues generates some income. Whether this constitutes a conflict of interest with her professed concern over the safety of those Kurdish faces she had on public display is anyone’s guess. Is it possible Debbie is more concerned about being ‘scooped’?…that the emphasis is more on her relationship with her Kurdish comrades than the Kurds themselves? i.e. Is it all about her?
Debbie was then asked about the religious composition of the Kurds. She thought about 75% of them were Muslim (Sunni), with a varying mix of Christians, Hindu, secular, and other faiths the Kurds were (she argued) very tolerant of, affording complete religious freedom in practicing one’s faith. Tensions over regional water resources, however, were another matter.
Finally, Debbie was asked how militarily feasible it was for the U.S. to remain embedded with and militarily supplying the Kurds when the landlocked region they occupy was surrounded by enemy nation states antithetical to Kurdish dreams, hopes, and aspirations…or, indeed, even their survival when Turkey is a U.S. ally, Syria is a Russian ally, and Iran is currently an Iraqi ally. Debbie fecklessly insisted that Erdogan, the Turkish head of state, would never dare to move on the Kurds if the U. s. but only left 1,000 American soldiers in harm’s way. Debbie may be unfamiliar with the fact Erdogan had already done exactly that when he sent Turkish tanks to attack Kurdish Peshmerga outside the city of Mosul, a traditional Kurdish stronghold inside Iraq not so long ago. Only U.S. intervention prevented a bloodbath between our allies while America was fully engaged in a war of annihilation against ISIS. None of the Kurds’ enemies are willing to allow the U.S. military access to the Kurds under current circumstances. Is the U.S. expected to fight its own allies?…one of which has the largest and best equipped military in NATO save only for the U.S. itself? Debbie suggested the Turkish army had been too weakened from a purge after a failed coup attempt against Erdogan to dare challenge the U.S. in pursuing what Erdogan deems Kurdish terrorists the equivalent of ISIS itself. Debbie admitted it was complicated.
One stunning revelation was Debbie’s inability to provide even a faint alibi for Kurdish perfidy. She displayed oil rigs in Kurdish occupied territory during her presentation. She also stated the Kurds had no refineries to distill/process the crude; the Syrians had destroyed all of them. Who were the Kurds selling the crude to, she was asked…to their enemies? It was ‘complicated’ she demurred. She went on to characterize certain accommodations the Kurds had agreed to satisfactory to their enemies. As she continued, the Kurdish cause began to resemble a movement more than a war of independence…something like our own ecoterrorists in principle if not in detail. Moreover, Debbie began to resemble on of the blind men who had his hand on on part of the Kurdish elephant’s anatomy. Debbie, to put it mildly, was in over her head. Or, as she said, “It’s complicated.”
Indeed it IS complicated–perhaps too complicated for an American foreign policy in the region that has failed abysmally. If the Kurds have no friends, perhaps America has equally none in the region. ‘Friends’ often make the most dangerous enemies. Few Americans would welcome their son being shipped home in a Kurdish box. The U.S. foreign policy in the region is far too clueless to be making promises/commitments there to anyone, as it has proven repeatedly over the years. As Trump pointed out, there’s plenty of sand to fight over. Turkey was buying crude from ISIS and Saudi Arabia was secretly funding them as they were enemies of Iranian Shia, therefor Saudi Arabia’s ‘friends’. You see, it’s ‘complicated’. Saudi Arabia is more than willing to fight Iran to the last American.
Q: Is it ok to demand payment for pictures? A: If you are selling photos yes. If the public is taking photos of you or your performance then no. If you are in the public eye than someone of the public may take a photo of you or your work without paying you or asking your permission so long as they aren’t selling said photo. The reason this is, photographers have first amendment rights too, and you are in the public eye.
By Claire Ballentine–November 3, 2019, 4:00 AM PST Updated on November 3, 2019, 8:42 AM PST
Funds that charge nothing may come with unappreciated risks
But an asset-management fee war means trend is here to stay
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
There’s a dark side to the wave of cost cutting that’s swept through the exchange-traded fund industry over the last 12 months. While every mom and pop in America can now pay nothing to buy an ETF through their favorite broker, and an extra nothing to cover its annual management fee, concern is mounting that there are catches to this bargain that could surprise investors.
Five ETPs are now available for nothing.
Brokerages have been fairly upfront about compensating for their lost commissions with interest revenue, but managing a fund — even one that tracks an index — isn’t free either. It costs about $250,000 per year to run an ETF, with the exact amount depending on what the fund owns, which service providers it hires, and the issuer’s broader business. But one way or another, whether its legal costs, aggressive up-selling or extra risk-taking, investors could wind up paying.
“This isn’t UNICEF, there’s a cost associated with doing things,” said Matt Bartolini, head of SPDR Americas Research at State Street Global Advisors, referring to the well-known children’s charity. “My first question is how are these costs being covered?”
The answer? It depends. A fund’s management fee typically covers the cost of licensing or creating an index, admin like record keeping and prospectus mailings, as well as the expenses associated with running a board of directors. Issuers that offer products for free still have these costs, but they have more reason to try to reduce them.
One place where efficiencies could be made is in the legal department, which could hurt investors in the event of a lawsuit. Other savings could be made by constructing indexes in-house or licensing lower-cost alternatives, hiring second-tier custodians, or limiting any sales presence or advertising budget. These economies could result in damaging oversights, or increase the likelihood of the fund closing.
“I would be concerned about the compliance and legal aspect,” said Sam Huszczo, the founder of SGH Wealth Management, a $170 million investment adviser based in Detroit that uses ETFs. “Those are the two areas where I could see corners being cut.”
Salt Financial, which pays investors to buy its fund, tracks an index of stable companies and only swaps out two or three names per quarter, which lowers transaction costs, according to co-founder Alfred Eskandar. In October, the company said it planned to move the ETF to a trust maintained by U.S. Bank to reduce administrative and operational complexity. The change will also save money, although Eskandar said investors will not be exposed to additional risks. He hopes the lack of fee will encourage investors to try the fund, and that they’ll stick around due to its performance.
An alternative strategy for issuers with more than one product is to leverage their zero-fee products to generate other business. Fidelity Investments started the first zero-fee mutual funds in August 2018, but they’re only available to investors that have a brokerage account with the firm. Meanwhile, Social Finance Inc., an online lender best known for refinancing student loans, views its no-fee products as a way to develop existing clients. Two of its ETFs cost nothing until at least June 2020, but another fund costs $5.90 for every $1,000 invested, more than the median ETF fee.
The thinking was “we’ll provide this for free so you can find out all the other things available in this community,” said Michael Venuto, chief investment officer of Toroso Investments, which helped SoFi start its funds. “It’s about engagement,” he said, adding that selling more expensive products alongside zero-fee ETFs is not nefarious.
A greater risk looms as these funds grow. ETFs habitually lend out a proportion of their holdings to hedge funds and other borrowers for a fee, part of which goes back to investors. While the amount of securities that can be out on loan at any given time is capped by the regulators, issuers of zero-fee funds could be incentivized to lend out a larger portion of their underlying portfolios, and keep a larger percentage of the profits.
While no zero-fee ETF currently engages in the practice, Fidelity’s four index funds are eligible for securities lending, according to a company spokesman. But all revenue — minus lending agent and custodial fees — goes back to investors. ETFs need about $50 million to make securities lending worthwhile, according to Toroso’s Venuto, who says it’s low risk.
Read more: Zero fees could backfire on asset managers
Still, the race to zero shows no sign of letting up. Abolishing fees generates publicity, something that could make the difference between survival and liquidation in a marketplace with more than 2,000 options. More than 70% of U.S. ETF assets are in funds that charge $2 per $1,000 invested or less and 93% of new money has flowed into such products this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Vanguard Group cut its fees again on Oct. 23, this time announcing that it would reduce the cost of 13 London-listed ETFs. Meanwhile, in the U.S., BNY Mellon has filed for a group of broad-indexed ETFs, fueling speculation that these products could augment the growing pool of zero-, or near-zero, fee investments.
“If they’re not getting paid by the clients, how are they getting paid?” Dan Egan, managing director of behavioral finance and investing for Betterment, said of zero-fee funds. “People who are happy paying nothing for something are going to get what they pay for.”
The Situation in Rojava: A Conversation with Debbie Bookchin
November 4 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The Emergency Committee for Rojava and Black Cottonwood Collective are pleased to present a report by journalist and author Debbie Bookchin, who has recently returned from the autonomous Kurdish-led region known as Rojava. She will talk about why it is critical to defend this feminist, ecological, democratic project from the ongoing onslaught by Turkey and its jihadi allies as well as the Syrian regime, and how ideas of social ecology have influenced the Kurdish freedom movement. This report is part of the speaking tour that ECR envisions as a step towards building a nationwide network to support Rojava and the Kurdish movement at a time when they are in grave danger.Purce Hall, Lec Hall 1 at Evergreen State College, 3:00PM
Iraqi grandmother ‘decapitated Isis fighters and cooked their heads’ to avenge her family’s death
An Iraqi grandmother claims to be one of the people most feared by Isis and has received personal death threats from the group’s leader.
Wahida Mohamed Al-Jumaily, 39, said she has beheaded and cooked the heads of Isis fighters to avenge the deaths of her family.
Isis killed her second husband earlier this year and has previously killed her father and three brothers.
Better known as Um Hanadi, she leads a 70-strong militia in the fight against Isis in the recently liberated town of Shirqat, which sits 50 miles south of the Isis’ Iraq stronghold of Mosul.
“I fought them, I beheaded them, I cooked their heads, I burned their bodies,” she told CNN.
The militia leader, who describes herself as a “housewife,” has published a photo on Facebook appearing to show her carrying a severed head, and another showing two severed heads in a cooking pot.
A third photo appears to show her standing among headless bodies which have been burned.
She said she head received personal death threats “from the top leadership of Isis,” she said, “including from [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi himself”.
“I’m at the top of their most wanted list, even more than the Prime Minister,” she added.
“Six times they tried to assassinate me. I have shrapnel in my head and legs, my ribs were broken, but all that didn’t stop me from fighting,” she said in the interview, lifting her headscarf to reveal several scars.
Um Hanadi began fighting jihadists in 2004, she said, working with Iraqi forces and the coalition in the battle against al-Qaeda and later Isis.
General Jamaa Anad, commander of Iraqi ground forces in Salahuddin province, told CNN they had provided her group with vehicles and weapons.
“She lost her brothers and husbands as martyrs,” he said. “So out of revenge she formed her own force.”
Isis fighters are afraid of being killed by women, according to female Kurdish soldiers, because they believe it means they won’t go to heaven.
ISIS prisoner confesses to witnessing the final hours of a British aid worker murdered in Iraq … but escaped before he could lead police to her body or killers
Margaret Hassan, 59, was taken hostage and murdered in Baghdad in 2004
Aid worker’s body has not been found and her killers have evaded justice
ISIS prisoner stunned his interrogators by claiming to know ‘everything’
But he was freed by court on basis of forged documents
An ISIS prisoner stunned interrogators by claiming to have witnessed the final hours of a murdered British aid worker whose body has never been found or killers brought to justice.
Margaret Hassan was director of the humanitarian group Care International in Iraq when she was taken hostage in Baghdad in October 2004.
She was twice paraded before the cameras to beg for help before being shot dead on video by masked gunmen three weeks later.
No group has claimed responsibility and a combination of missed opportunities, bungled police work and judicial corruption has meant her murderers have evaded justice.
But a surprise confession by a militant brought in for questioning five months ago over his links to ISIS may hold the key to finally locating her body and finding those responsible.
Mustafa Amer, 23, described in shocking detail how he witnessed Mrs Hassan’s final moments when he was just a boy, around nine years old.
He told how she had been abducted by a Sunni criminal gang with insurgent and political links who were now fighting for ISIS or had links to the terror group, it was reported by The Times.
He kept talking about a ‘British Margaret’ and it took some time before it dawned on the interrogator who he was referring to.
Ali al-Sudani, a Colonel in the Iraqi military who questioned him in Tikrit, said: ‘He knew everything: who kidnapped her, where she was held, who killed her and where she is buried.’
But two weeks ago Amer was freed by a court on the basis of forged documents and Col al-Sudani says the authorities have done little to arrest her killers or find her grave.
Olympia, WA (10-24-19) — Trudy Springer originally hales from NY, but has lived in the Pacific NW and Olympia for many years. She has worked as a volunteer at the Olympia Food Co-op during that time, describes herself as a firm advocate of social justice, but hesitates at drawing a bright line between that goal and the Food Co-op functioning as a political indoctrination cult masquerading as a boutique food & alcohol venue rather than as a cooperative organic food retailer. Trudy concedes Dana Walker was treated shabbily and unjustly by the organization, but has difficulty connecting the specifics of Dana’s experience with the larger question of an ad hoc group incompetently presuming to be Dana’s, et ux, judge, jury and executioner–all in violation of his civil and fundamental human rights. Trudy’s compassion for Dana’s travail exemplifies the conundrum of respecting a particular individual’s rights, but failing to appreciate people’s rights in general or the need to avoid tyrannical pretexts to interfere in customers’/members’ private lives nowhere near the Co-op or their protected speech and (quite literally) freedom of expression. In this instance, ironically, the Food Co-op has engaged in persecution in the name (and pretext) of anti-oppression practices. The reality is they’ve chosen to pursue a paternalistic agenda without authority or even remotely appropriate. Trudy appears inexperienced and without bona fides to consider the rule rather than the exception. i.e. Trudy appears to have no theory of government and freely admits she doesn’t know or is not privy to all the material facts surrounding the question. She’s a charming good-hearted woman without sufficient perspective/experience to govern the rat’s nest the Co-op has become.
[Bold comments inside brackets were NOT interjected by Dana, but THIS reporter.]
So — here is Robyn’s response to being awarded the Thunderbolt’s Olympia Hypocrite of the Year Award:
As award recipient, I feel I should make a statement. Let me be clear, I’m making this statement as myself and not on behalf of the Olympia Food Co-op organization as a whole. I know you like to publish retorts so here’s one for you.
I always liked you, Dana. We had a nice report[sic]. You were a little too much with the touching, but I tolerated it because humans need contact. I never felt afraid of you. [How kind!]
I applauded your activism. I’m sure that because of our friendly relationship you were caught off guard by the Behavioral Agreements that were a product of the work of the Co-op Resolution Team on which I served. [Some folks don’t recognize a snake when they pick it up.] None of us ever called you a sexist or a racist, although all white people are racist, all men are sexist, and whenever a white male threatens a Black Woman there is privilege and oppression at play and these needed to be addressed. [Speak for yourself. Quo Warranto? Who died and made YOU God? That’s privileged white guilt balderdash coming from the hijacker of a, now, political indoctrination cult masquerading as a boutique foods & alcohol venue. The fact is you’ve become an arrogant mirror image of all you rail against. You’re an unAmerican tyrant.]
The fact is, you believed that you were so entitled that you could glare contemptuously at another Co-op member without jeopardizing your position – which was, effectively, guarding the doorway to our shared community resource. [Dana never made a true threat–not that you would even know the meaning of the term. Yet you feel entitled to setup your very own kangaroo court and star chamber. You are the embodiment of everything the founding fathers hated.]It is with awe that I report, that even after your display of hubris and poor judgment, the Co-op Resolution Team was still unanimous in our initial decision not to ban you, but to instead employ restorative practices. [Dana justly refers to them as offensive, gratuitous, baseless, and humiliating. Where there is no dignity, there can be no justice. Your arrogance is no substitute for the dignity you speciously predicate.] We worked with the member’s concerns [Just WHICH members? Many claim they were left out of your self crafted loop.] to develop a set of requirements that would allow them to feel safe in your presence, which was what was most important to the team. [I, and many patrons of the Co-op don’t feel ‘safe’ in YOUR presence! YOU are the enemy. This conflict isn’t being heard in a vacuum.] You may think that punishing you was the objective, but that is focusing on yourself rather than centering a Woman of Color and her experience shopping at the store. [You arrogant self loathing self-righteous self-aggrandizing guilt tripping b**ch!] Once we had identified what the threatened[?] shopper needed in order for you to return, you were asked to take oppression awareness courses and anger management on the Co-op’s dime, and to remove your online doxing, as well as to make statements that you understood that doxing can put someone in danger and that you did not wish to put them in danger. [And THAT, my dear, is precisely the basis of the lawsuit against YOU personally for violating Dana’s (a 5th estate journalist) civil rights.]
Even before these agreements were sent, you began insulting the team that was rooting for you. [Dana handled y’all with velvet gloves and is entirely too fond of snakes.] When the agreements arrived, you refused, [No kidding? He refused to be YOUR nigger, huh?] and instead began a doxing campaign against those of us who were trying hardest to get you back to the stores. [With ‘friends’ like you, who needs enemies?] So single me out to shame if you wish, but the truth is we all tried hard to find a way to keep you and were all saddened by your refusal. [That, and the Devil made you do it, right?] Since then, your own escalation has led to the entire Staff Collective and the Board of Directors reaching agreement to ban you from Co-op properties and events. [I am Dana. We are Dana. You’d better ban everyone because what goes around comes around and a boycott of the Co-op IS being organized. Maybe a few posters with “BAN THIS WOMAN” and your image around town?]
Restorative practices are great. The Co-op uses them whenever possible. That’s why I wrote about them. But they’re only successful if everyone participates. It takes humility and accountability to go through the process. [Two attributes you lack] You have demonstrated neither. Your “whistle blower” has demonstrated neither. Thankfully, none of the future Co-op shoppers will have to withstand your “looks of pure contempt” [Maybe not, but YOU will!] as you stand privileged in the doorway – indefensible and unprofessional behavior for someone who humbly claims to be trying to make a living. [Your organization has a tin ear and was totally unresponsive to a written request to air the details of this debacle.]
That’s all I had to say. I could continue this statement and refute your unhinged rant point by point, but after the way you’ve behaved, I’m just not that invested in your opinion of me. If anyone reading this has questions about the Co-op’s restorative practices, you can email email@example.com. [Been there, done that. Zip! Dana’s not the only one who has a bad opinion of you or is willing to publish said opinion for that matter. It’s great you’re into accountability, because your feet will be held to that principle.]
One woman who once volunteered and patronized the Oly Food Co-op says:
“What I meant to say is the Co-op is oppressive and their anti-oppression. And because of it people that are truly kind of giving and loving and the community don’t go there anymore.”
Mary Watt, an ex-volunteer and Co-op member, says:
“I wanted and intended to personally go after Robyn Wagoner because she slandered me to staff at Coop, she was unethical and unprofessional in her actions “serving” on Coop Member Relations Committee. She selected which information about Dana Shawna issues to share and which to withhold. I call that manipulation and lying.”
Olympia, WA (10-20-19)– Tahoe, a friend of mine, has had an eventful life that included homelessness on the streets of Olympia.. Despite his impoverished circumstances and limited resources, Tahoe tends to be a strong advocate for personal responsibility and boundaries…sometimes even a bit of a curmudgeon. e.g. He doesn’t feel sorry for those who won’t work to improve their lot in life. He doesn’t believe they’re ‘entitled’ to other people’s $ or “everything for everybody”.
I was on my own for two days at the NY worlds fair. age 11.
“Here’s $10, Meet me at the Unisphere at 5:00”, from my dad.
He was seeing a girlfriend. I didn’t find out until I was 30.
It was life changing for an eleven year old.
The stage was set for my future.
I spent most of my life as a Limousine driver.
I became depressed and suicidal in 2010.
Then unexpected money showed up.
I decided I could help on the street.
First incarnation as I learned how to…
I had already been cleaning the street,
from Capital to Cherry on fourth a year or so.
Down to paper matches. Tens of 1,000’s cigarette butts.
Final Percival habitat. Setup after 11:00 every night. Tear down, back to the street every morning. this config worked great. Those gates on the restrooms, were because of me. (background) They spent $3,000 each, both sides.
Packed for travel. Various stages.
Si vis pacem para bellum
Seattle, WA (10-19-19)– Using repugnant political affiliation as a pretext, the latte’ swilling neo-liberal gun snatchers and thought police are now emboldened to persecute the politically incorrect, not for crimes mind you, but for guilt by association/suspicion/bare assertions–a dramatic violation of not only the 2nd Amendment, but the 1st. Welcome to the brave new world where every step you make, every breath you take, everywhere you go, anyone you know, anything you say, even day by day, minuted by minute, hour by hour will be and IS watched. Welcome to the brave new world, chumps–B. F. Skinner on steroids.
Only the most naive and foolish (or gluttons for punishment and persecution) will continue to register their guns in any manner whatsoever. Cottage made guns w/o serial #’s (e.g. made in the Philippines) will fetch a premium. When all guns are criminalized, only ‘criminals’ will have them. Constitutionalists will be judged ‘traitors’ and social undesirables. Any non-mainstream political viewpoint will serve as a pretext.
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” -Goethe-
Police seized military-style firearms from an avowed neo-Nazi in Snohomish County in what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind case in Washington state.
“We actually, I firmly believe, prevented a massacre,” said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, whose office was involved in the investigation.
Records filed in King County court show officers from the Arlington and Seattle police departments seized five military-style rifles, three pistols, and other gun parts from a residence on Jordan Trails Road in Arlington.
According to court documents, the weapons belong to Kaleb J. Cole, who is the suspected leader of The Atomwaffen Division in Washington state.
Authorities claim Cole has been amassing firearms and training with weapons in western Washington. Online videos show Atomwaffen members firing guns and moving through rooms at “devils tower,” a graffiti-scarred building at an abandoned cement plant near the City of Concrete.
“This is a hate-filled human being but one who, unfortunately, possesses a large number of weapons,” Holmes said.
Cole is not charged with a crime but is named in an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) filed earlier this month in King County court. In the civil paperwork, prosecutors and the FBI convinced a judge that “Kaleb Cole poses a serious threat to public safety by having access and possession to firearms and a concealed pistol license.”
The judge issued an order requiring Cole to surrender all firearms to the police.
Atomwaffen, which is a German for “atomic weapon,” is a small but extreme organization that seeks inspiration from Adolph Hitler and Charles Manson, who ordered mass murders to attempt to trigger a race war.
Its white supremacist members claim they will not start the war, but they are arming themselves in preparation.
Atomwaffen members have been charged in five murders in other states.
The FBI has clearly been watching Cole, although a spokesperson for the bureau’s Seattle office declined to comment.
Documents filed in court show that Cole traveled to Eastern Europe in December of 2018 on a trip to honor the sites of some of World War II’s most horrific scenes.
“Cole has been permanently banned from entry into Canada as a result of his [admitted] membership/affiliation with the Atomwaffen Division,” the Border Patrol report stated.
Earlier this year, the Seattle FBI approached Seattle/King County’s Regional Firearms Enforcement Unit operated by the Seattle City Attorney, King County Prosecutor, and Seattle police.
Agents sought an ERPO to disarm Cole, but the federal government has no such tool.
“The fact is the federal government came to us. There’s no other mechanism like our firearms unit that’s in existence. There’s no one else in the state that’s doing this,” said Holmes.
It’s the first time the Feds have sought an ERPO in Washington state, and it’s believed to be one of the first instances in the nation.
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, whose deputy prosecutor Kim Wyatt argued the ERPO case before the judge, said the order to surrender guns is the right tool when law enforcement does not have enough evidence to file a criminal charge.
“In this case, the joint terrorism task force had assessed Mr. Cole and said he was somebody who was doing more than thinking and talking about his extremist, violent beliefs, but that he was actually acting on it,” Satterberg said.
Holmes said the case marks an important milestone since he started working with his domestic violence prosecutor, Chris Anderson, on the pilot project that formed the firearms enforcement unit.
That unit has now seized nearly 1,100 firearms since 2017, mostly from accused domestic abusers.
The fact the FBI recognized an ERPO’s ability to stop a threat is significant.
“We can actually prevent some of these massacres,” said Holmes.
KING 5 has been unable to reach Cole for comment. The order that he does not possess any firearms remains in effect for one year.
Olympia, WA (10-17-19)–It has been open season on reporters (no thanks to Trump) for years now, even in America. Sadly, journalists are no longer safe (if they ever were) alone or unarmed. A bulwark of American freedom and democracy has been pronounced the “enemy” and is treated as such–even by such faux liberals as the Oly Food Coop bigots. Rather than embrace the truth, they’ve chosen to kill the messenger.
Physical Attack -30 journalists have faced physical attacks in 2019 -5 journalists were killed in 2018 -46 journalists faced physical attacks in 2017 Since 2017, 55 reporters have been attacked while covering protests.
Demonstrators damage TV journalist’s camera in Charlottesville
Gary Cooper, a journalist with North Carolina TV station WTVD, was filming a crowd of demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2018, when some of the demonstrators cut his camera’s audio cable.
Cooper and journalist DeJuan Hoggard were in Charlottesville to cover anti-fascist demonstrations marking the one-year anniversary of the murder of Heather Heyer, who was killed by a white nationalist at the “Unite the Right” rally in 2017.
A group of demonstrators, apparently unhappy with being filmed, got into an altercation with Cooper and Hoggard, during which the demonstrators cut the audio cable connecting Cooper’s external microphone to his camera.
Hoggard later tweeted a photo of Cooper holding the broken camera, and Cooper tweeted that he had a spare cable. Hoggard also tweeted a video of an altercation that he had with demonstrators before the cable was cut.
Eder Campuzano, a reporter at The Oregonian, was hit in the head by a plastic water bottle while covering protests in Portland, Oregon, on August 4, 2018.
“Moments after I began live-streaming the police response to yet another face-off between right-wing and anti-fascist demonstrators, blood was dripping from my head onto one of my favorite shirts and I was being escorted to The Oregonian newsroom,” Campuzano wrote in a first-person piece about the incident.
Tyler Dumont, a journalist at Fox 12 Oregon, captured a photo of Campuzano’s bleeding head and posted it on Twitter, where it spread quickly.
Protesters smack away NBC News reporter Cal Perry’s camera in Charlottesville
On August 11, 2018, NBC News reporter Cal Perry was covering an anti-racist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, when protesters grabbed his TV camera and pushed it away.
Anti-fascist protesters gathered in Charlottesville to commemorate Heather Heyer, who was murdered during the far-right “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville the previous year.
While covering the demonstration, Perry tweeted that a number of protesters seemed hostile toward him and other reporters.
He later tweeted a video of an altercation with a protester.
“Fuck you, snitch ass news bitch,” a man can be heard saying in the video footage. “Fuck you!” The man then smacks the camera sideways.
Portland Mercury reporter Kelly Kenoyer shoved while filming Patriot Prayer rally
July 11, 2018
Portland Mercury reporter Kelly Kenoyer was shoved while covering a far right rally in Portland, Oregon, on June 3, 2018.
“It was a scary experience—the first violent protest I’ve covered, and I had a bit of that violence directed at me,” she wrote in a piece for Portland Mercury.
Kenoyer told Freedom of the Press Foundation that she began covering the Patriot Prayer rally around 4 p.m., at which point there were around 20 people aligned with the far-right Patriot Prayer group and over 100 anti-fascist protesters present.
While filming a verbal confrontation between a Patriot Prayer demonstrator and a counter-protester, she said, a Patriot Prayer protester tried to grab her phone and shoved her backwards.
Kenoyer was able to film part of the altercation and later posted the video on Twitter.
“As [I filmed], the man (a masked up guy on the Patriot Prayer side), flipped me off, directing that hand towards the phone,” Kenoyer said. “Then he pushed his hand into my phone, shoving it into the side of my head/face, and pushed me over.”
After being pushed, Kenoyer identified herself as a reporter, and a bystander approached to try to defuse the situation. Kenoyer said that the man who shoved her and another Patriot Prayer demonstrator then then began yelling at the bystander.
“Things escalated from there and I ended up getting shoved backwards — I think they shoved the bystander into me,” she said. “I stumbled backwards and a random counter-protester caught me. He apologized for touching me and said he wanted to make sure I didn’t fall.”
Kenoyer said she felt frazzled after the altercation and took a moment to gather herself back together before getting back to work.
She said that she does not think that anyone was specifically targeting reporters for harassment, but protesters on both sides objected to being filmed.
“Neither side particularly wanted to be filmed,” she said. “Antifa activists also told me not to film, though they didn’t physically assault me over it.”
Kenoyer also noted that a different Patriot Prayer member filmed her and said, “You like that, bitch?!” She clarified later that day to the woman that she was a reporter.
Last year, Kenoyer was also singled out and threatened by right wingers on social media after writing for Eugene Weekly about the impacts of doxxing by the right on anti-fascist activists.
January 16, 2018 Independent journalist Jon Ziegler, who livestreams under the handle RebZ.tv, was reporting on a white nationalist rally in Shelbyville, Tennessee, on October 28, 2017, when one of the white nationalist protesters struck him with a shield.
Ziegler told the Freedom of the Press Foundation that the demonstration was divided into two sections — a white nationalist section and an anti-fascist section — which were each penned in by police barricades. Ziegler said that he interviewed protesters in both sections and was walking through the white nationalist area when he was suddenly confronted by a prominent leader in the National Socialist Movement, a white nationalist group.
The NSM leader told Ziegler that he was standing too close to the NSM’s P.A. system and demanded that he leave. Ziegler said that a group of NSM members then surrounded him, threatened him and began pushing him around. He said that the NSM members were armed with shields — police had allowed them to carry shields because they were not considered offensive weapons — and one NSM member struck him with his shield.
September 12, 2017
An unidentified protester ordered freelance production assistant Nathan Hope to stop filming and knocked a phone out of his hands during protests in Berkeley, California, on August 27, 2017.
Hope, who was assisting a production crew that day for a documentary about the alt right, said that it was one of a series of threats and intimidation that the crew experienced that day at the hands of people whom he described as anti-fascist or black bloc protesters.
The black bloc protesters arrived at a largely peaceful protest in Berkeley’s Civic Center Park. The protest was part of a “Rally Against Hate” in response to a much smaller group of right-wing protesters, according to press reports.
Hope told Alex Ellerbeck, a reporter with the Committee to Protect Journalists, that he was filming a group of protesters assaulting an unidentified man at the time that the incident occurred.
Hope said that one protester, wearing a bandana to disguise their identity, ordered him to stop filming and then knocked his phone out of his hands. Hope said that the phone was not damaged after being knocked to the ground, but the video was interrupted. He stopped filming shortly afterwards.
Two other journalists working on the documentary project said that they also received threats while filming on that day.
Leighton Woodhouse, an independent documentary filmmaker, said that anti-fascist protesters approached him and told to stop filming.
“The only reason we didn’t get administered a beat down is because when we were ordered (not asked) to point our cameras elsewhere, we only pushed our right to film them so far,” Woodhouse wrote in a blog post on his website L@W.
“Nobody threatened us directly, but there was an implicit threat of violence because as it happened, people were being beaten up,” Woodhouse told Ellerbeck.
He said that fear of violence affected how he reported on the protest and that there were times when they stopped filming or filmed from farther away. He said that there were three or four confrontations in which he was ordered to stop filming and that protesters would block the cameras with shields and would sometimes escort reporters away from the scene.
Armando Aparicio, Woodhouse’s partner on the documentary project, told Ellerbeck that one protester put a shield in his face and followed him everyone that he went. He said that protesters were screaming that they did not want to be in his video. Aparicio said that he put a cap on his lens and stepped back after being threatened.
Both Woodhouse and Aparicio said that the protesters seemed to have a conflicted relationship with the media. The protest took place in a public sphere and banners and signs seemed designed to be captured by the press, but at the same time protesters seemed to be afraid of having their identities captured on camera.
“There is a fear of doxing [having identities publicly revealed] both by the alt right and law enforcement,” said Aparicio.
“We were in a public park,” Woodhouse wrote on his blog. “It was a big news event, where everybody knew there would be media. Activists in the Black Bloc were concealed by sunglasses and ski masks to protect their identity for exactly this reason. They carried flags and banners, to make themselves a spectacle. Yet for their personal security, many of them decided that it was their right to command photographers not to take their pictures, to physically block them from doing so, and if they persisted, to smash their equipment and assault them.”
September 15, 2017
Leigh Martinez, a freelance reporter for KTVU, was covering an anti-fascist protest in Berkeley, California, on August 27, 2017, when a protester knocked her phone out of her hand.
In a video of the altercation shared by KTVU on its Facebook and Twitter accounts, one protester is shown attempting to block Martinez’s ability to film the march with a poster. A second protester approaches Martinez, saying, “Hey, can you not film this right now?” The protester then knocks Martinez’s phone out of her hand. The protester was later arrested on suspicion of battery.
Martinez could not be reached for comment, but KTVU wrote on Facebook that Martinez says “the incident happened after an altercation with her photographer.”
In a response to KTVU photojournalist Randee Deason on Twitter, Martinez tweeted, “Yes, I’m okay. She hit my wrist. I was able to continue working.”
October 12, 2017 Thom Jensen, a freelance reporter for NBC affiliate KNTV, had his phone taken by protesters while covering an anti-fascist demonstration in Berkeley, California, on August 27, 2017.
Lizzie Johnson, a reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle, tweeted a video that shows protesters chasing Jensen and yelling, “Take his camera, take his phone!”
My phone was taken & submerged in one of the water-filled barricades. Thankfully it had a waterproof case & find my iPhone works under water.
Protesters attack independent live streamer in San Francisco, steal his phone September 8, 2017 Nathan Stolpman — an independent journalist who runs the YouTube channel Lift the Veil Too — was attacked and had his phone stolen while filming an anti-fascist protest in San Francisco, California, on August 26, 2017.
In an interview with the Freedom of the Press Foundation, Stolpman said that he was livestreaming the protest to his YouTube channel when several protesters attempted to block his camera with an umbrella. Stolpman continued his livestream, telling the protesters, “I’m just a journalist, I have a YouTube channel.”
The livestream posted on the Lift the Veil Too YouTube channel shows one person present at the protest asking Stolpman why he was wearing a polo shirt, stating that “polos are on the other side”. Stolpman asked protesters why they did not want coverage of the event, and a larger group of protesters began to chant “Nazi, go home.”
As Stolpman continued to livestream, the group of protesters — holding a large black banner with “Fascist Scum You Are Done” written on it — followed him and wrapped him in the banner, restricting his ability to move.
Ruptly, a livestreaming service owned by Russian broadcaster RT, captured footage of Stolpman’s encounter with the protesters. The video published by Ruptly shows a masked protester quickly approach Stolpman, who is largely covered by the black banner, and then grab Stolpman’s phone and run off.
After the altercation, Stolpman was interviewed about what happened by several outlets. As he answered a question, one protester wearing a red nose stroked his hair, while other protesters off camera yelled and denounced the media outlets interviewing him for “giving the fascist a camera.”
A video filmed by Brian Neumann, a student journalist at San Francisco State University, shows Stolpman arguing with protesters and asking for his phone back.
Stolpman told the Freedom of the Press Foundation that he believes he was targeted because he was live streaming and because of his clothing. He said that his phone was never returned to him.